While Gorky Park's fame in the United States was short-lived, they are an important band historically because their success is deeply rooted in the events that took place during the final years of the Cold War. In 1980 the conservative Chrnenko came to power in the U.S.S.R. Tensions between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. intensified when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and the U.S. boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. In 1981 Reagan took office and began a massive military buildup. In an attempt to thwart the increasing presence of American culture that crept in through a thriving black market and the CIA's radio broadcast, Chrnenko placed a ban on playing and listening to rock & roll. He stated that "Rock music, along with other elements of Western culture, is part of an arsenal of subversive weapons aimed at undermining the commitment of young Russians to Communist ideology." Just like the U.S. in the 1950s, the condemnation of rock & roll by politicians actually helped spur the music's popularity. It was during this time that members of Gorky Park began playing in various Moscow-based rock bands.